I’m as open about being trans in real life as I am about it online. While I don’t throw the information out there on first or second meeting someone, generally speaking, unless the topic comes up, I’m also quite direct about it when I do tell someone. All my friends, both local and online, know I’m trans, and they accept me despite (or perhaps because of) that.

The one person who has refused to accept it is my mother. Way back two or three years ago, when I first realized I was trans and that it was pointless—and too painful—to hide from it any more, I told Mom. Well, I sort of broached the subject of me being trans as if I needed her permission to deal with it, and we ended our phone call on it with me stating, “Well, I need to deal with this, and I’m going to.”

It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, to be honest. While back then I wasn’t quite ready to abandon my need for Mom’s permission in part of my life, I did recognize that I couldn’t let her reaction to my confession of being transgender dictate to me how to live my life. This, I think, is the point at which I first, subconsciously, realized I didn’t need Mom to give me permission, that my life was mine to live how I wished, and that giving her all the control I’d given her over it was detrimental to my mental health.

I have not tried to tell Mom I’m trans again since. It is a fight I have no wish to engage in at this time. Like my decision to go to school, my decision what to do with my trans body is mine alone to make, and I can’t let Mom tell me what to do with it or my gender dysphoria.

I’m not so much avoiding telling her as I’m choosing when to bring her back into the loop on it. If I get far enough to take Hormone Replacement Therapy, she’s going to realize it at some point regardless of whether I tell her or not. My current plan is to have my breasts removed, then change my name, and about that time start HRT. At some point near the time I change my name, I’ll tell Mom again that I’m trans.

She may never accept it. This is something I must consider and deal with in therapy. Mom may be angry with me, another reaction I must prepare for. I don’t think she’ll disown or shun me, though. She may not understand or accept what I’ve done and will be doing, but I think she’ll eventually try her best to deal with it, even if she hates it. And, considering she tends to look at the negative, she may view it as the death of her daughter and miss the fact that I’m finally the person I was meant to be—and happy with myself at last.

However she chooses to react, I’ve decided is on her. I can’t let myself get bogged down in it, and I won’t. This is my life, and I’m going to live it how I see fit, whether she likes it or not.